I’ve had this theory kicking around for a while now regarding Doctor Who. I’ve shared it with Zoe. I’ve shared it with friends. Here it is:
Step One: Introducing John Hurt as The Doctor.
Who is he? He’s ‘The Doctor’, it says so right there on the screen. I don’t think that’s misdirection because misdirection tends to be cleverer than lying in an on-screen caption. I’m perfectly willing to take at face-value that he’s The Doctor.
Another widely bandied theory is that he’s the generation before William Hartnell’s ‘first’ Doctor, as we never saw him born or regenerated into. That’d throw off all the numbers and be a radical change to Doctor Who! I can’t see it. I can’t see anyone who loves Doctor Who wanting to force the fans to say ‘The First Doctor, chronologically rather than canonically’ when referring to a character when those words are so inextricably linked to Hartnell.
My personal theory? He’s Eight.
He’s just Eight. No ‘Eight was really Nine’ bait and switch, Eight just grew old. He lived through the time war, he lived a long, long life of suffering and fighting. In many ways for us fans Eight is a blip. He’s had books and radio stories of course but on screen he’s been almost a non-event. Why? He was busy fighting the time war which didn’t leave a lot of time for charmingly saving Earth on Saturday evenings.
So if I’m right, I speculated, a major theme of the 50th anniversary episode will be the time war.
Concurrent with San Diego this weekend the BBC teased the return of the Daleks. RTD’s Daleks, to be precise. In this still that sure looks like written Galifreyan printed formally as a wall sign hanging in the background. When would Daleks be found on Gallifrey?
They showed a trailer at SDCC, which hasn’t been leaked but has been described. The description confirms:
John Hurt is The Doctor who ended the time war. The Doctor who sealed his own people and the Daleks behind the time lock and shut them out of the universe. He’s The Doctor who committed what was essentially temporal genocides. Two of them. Simultaneously.
In the 50th anniversary the promised change that will alter the course of Doctor Who forever? I think the time lock is getting reversed. I think the time war is resuming. Time Lords and Daleks returning to the universe.
As a side prediction I think the reason the Doctor’s name is so crucial is that it’s the key to the time lock, on the basis that everyone who’d know the key to unlock the Time War was behind the lock. As long as he can keep the secret, the time war is safe.
Of course, Clara knows his name.
Not saying that’s how it’ll happen but it does mean the secret’s out. The key has been copied, you could say.